Ana Grama, entrepreneur: from passion to an eco-friendly startup
Ana Grama is a young entrepreneur who transformed her passion for growing lavender into an eco cosmetics startup. Ana’s professional path started with the Pre-accelerator programme for women and girls implemented by XY Partners, with support from UN Women and funded by Sweden.
„Several years ago, I started planting lavender in my garden. Initially, it was just a hobby for me. I always wanted to grow something unusual. All the necessary information about growing lavender has been collected from specialised literature and internet. Then, I applied theoretical knowledge in practice, and I saw the result. Lavender is a very grateful plant. If you take care of it, lavender requires very little time, giving very nice fruits.
I saw an announcement on the Pre-accelerator programme offered by XY Partners on social media. At that time, I had an idea of launching a lavender school. I wanted to spread beauty across the country and to show that lavender can be planted in any garden. Initially, I hesitated to apply. I thought I would not be able to attend training sessions having two kids. However, I decided to try, and I was very happy with my choice.
Within the programme, I met extraordinary people. After conducting a creative session with the mentors of the programme, an even nicer idea came to our minds – to use the lavender grown in my garden in producing eco cosmetics.
In September 2021, I have launched the brand „Cristalin”. I started with a small garden, but I am planning to arrange soon a bigger field. I intend to plant more varieties of lavender but also other types of plants. It would allow me to offer more products to the customers. At this point, „Cristalin” produces bath salt and bath bombs. In the first half of this year, body scrubs, bath truffles, hand cream-balms and body butter will be launched.
The programme I have participated in, as well as other empowerment programmes, offer a boost to the professional development of every woman and girl. Knowledge I gained via this programme helped me open my eyes wider and understand that multiple opportunities exist. However, the support coming from the team had the biggest impact.
When you benefit from the full support, you are more self-confident, you have another perspective and a huge desire to contribute to making a better and a more sustainable future.”